and formed the super committee. you remember the super committee, the bipartisan group of legislators are charged with finding 1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, that was plan b to the super committee, if they failed, which they did, the sequester would cut the deficit by the same 1.2 trillion, but it would do it right away, and in such a mindless, painful dumb way that neither party could live with it. it was meant, then to force the parties to make the deal. punishment. and that was an obvious design, you build half the sequester out of tax increases, which republicans hate, and then the other out of spending cuts which democrats hate. but republicans refused to vote for anything with taxes in it. even though the whole policy was they were not supposed to like it. they made a concession, if the sequester was going to be all spending cuts then the things the democrats would get would be really friendly to democrats. and so the spending cuts, they don't touch medicaid or social security. or programs. it exempts most programs for low income americans, including food stamps and the earned income tax credits.